District-based Offices for Lawmakers Increases Public Access and Saves Millions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2015
ANCHORAGE – Billion dollar deficits and drastic proposals to shift the burden of paying for state government onto the backs of working Alaskans and their families demand innovative ideas to save the state money. The multi-million dollar renovation and expense of remaining in the Legislative Information Offices (LIO) on 4th Avenue in Anchorage flies in the face of the legislature’s demand for fiscal conservancy.
Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) and Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) have sent a letter to the members of the Alaska Legislative Council asking them to consider additional options as they deliberate on the fate of the extravagant LIO in downtown Anchorage. Sen. Wielechowski and Rep. Tuck are suggesting allowing lawmakers to have modest office space in the districts they represent in lieu of the current LIO rental. Under this proposal, district-based office space and related expenses would be limited to $1,500 per month.
“This is a commonsense, fiscally conservative measure that will save us millions and put legislators closer to their constituents,” said Sen. Wielechowski.
The new option proposed by Sen. Wielechowski and Rep. Tuck would save $3.6 million per year from the current 4th Avenue building leases and would be $286,776 lower per year than the proposal to place legislative offices in the Atwood Building.
“It’s time for the Republican leadership to admit their mistake and seriously consider alternatives to the gaudy Anchorage LIO, which has become a symbol of state government excess and wasteful spending,” said Rep. Tuck.
Sen. Wielechowski and Rep. Tuck contend the legislative decision-making process will benefit from allowing constituents increased access to lawmakers while simultaneously saving the state millions to address the troubling fiscal situation.
For more information, contact Alaska Senate Democrats Press Secretary Jeanne Devon at (907) 269-0173.